July 21, 2006
The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: Flood, Fire, and Famine in the History of Civilization
By Richard Firestone, Allen West, and Simon Warwick-Smith
Publisher: Bear & Company (June 2006)
Pages: 392 - Price: $20.00
Review by Lee Prosser - firstname.lastname@example.org
This nonfiction book will have everybody talking about the cycle of cosmic catastrophes, and how it has affected myth and legend in cultures over a period of time. Every major culture has its own legends and myths of floods, fires, and weather extremes. This well-written and well-researched book brings it all together.
An interesting aspect of this book is the accurate treatment the authors give to how oral traditions handed down by native peoples have kept the catastrophes alive. Such topics as the extinction of dinosaurs, the vanishing of ancient Indian tribes, the mysterious Carolina Bays, abrupt disappearance of the mammoths, the quick ending of the last Ice Age, and effects of underwater landslides causing tsunamis are discussed.
Folklore and legend have provided important keys to uncovering the past. The authors suggest that a situation may now be developing which could well pave the way for another catastrophe with greater consequences given the size of today's human population.
The illustrations, both black & white and in color, add to the stark reality of what once happened on Earth to civilizations, and what may come again more quickly than can be imagined! The illustrations are small, concise, and accompany the text in a nice format. Written by scientists, this book reads like a tight, exciting mystery novel. This is scary stuff.
A fine discussion of the "black mat" is examined, which explains the mysterious layer of black sediment found spanning the North American area resting directly over the bones of the last known mammoths to walk the Earth. A look at the Carolina Bays examines the thousands of miles-long depressions on the Atlantic coast that look much like Martian impact craters.
This book will have a wide appeal. The information touches upon the very fiber and core of our world civilization. What happens when the catastrophe comes again, what warfare by the survivors for the surviving scarce resources... all this and more is found and explained in this book. This is a memorable reading experience with much information to consider. This book is a page turner.
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